DIY Cardboard Toy- Airport

Shaunak is always excited about Airplanes. He has a soft corner towards them and I am sure he gets this passion from Shashank. Shaunak gets his firsthand information and knowledge about airport and airplanes from his Dad who works in Honeywell Aerospace.

Shashank had once bought an Airport play set when he visited Boeing. He had pledged to keep it arranged in our show cabinet and not give it to anyone. However, once Shaunak turned two and saw the airport set, there was no way it was going to stay for display. The play set had a few airplanes, bus, ladder truck, airport rescue vehicles and almost every other airport element. Seeing him play with these just on a table or the floor wasn’t very pleasing to me and I decided to build an airport for him.

I painted this complete airport, including a terminal, taxi way, runway and a section for rescue vehicles. He was overjoyed seeing the airport and plays for nearly an hour everyday. This airport activity helped us teach a lot of concepts to him. For instance, what is a terminal, hangar, and how the pick up bus takes passengers from the terminal to hangar safely to avoid accidents. Then the ladder truck or the boarding steps, a ground support equipment, which help passengers climb into the 20 feet high aircraft.

He learnt about the different rescue vehicles at the airport, the police car, ambulance, fire trucks and rescue helicopters. Last but not the least and most important, the ATC towers and RADAR. I build this out of a kitchen roll and a paper cup. He was excited to talk to the ATC and get clearance for his flight to takeoff and land.

My goals were to help him understand the concepts like: 
1. Airport
2. Airplanes
3. Runway
4. Radar
5. Ground Support
6. ATC Tower
7. Terminal
8. Hangar

And also to introduce him to new opposite words (vocabulary development): 
1. Safe x Dangerous
2. Quiet x Loud
3. Sharp x Blunt
4. Strong x Weak
5. Straight x Curly
6. Pick x Drop

Here is how I made it.

Things you need: 
1. Cardboard (I recycled a washing machine cardboard box)
2. Kitchen roll cardboard tubes
3. Black and white acrylic paint
4. Paintbrush
5. Toy airplanes, rescue vehicles

I made a rough sketch on a paper which was further improvised by my husband who is an expert in aerospace himself. Then I painted the roads black and the borders white. Made ATC Tower using kitchen roll tube and a paper cup. He used his toy airplanes to fly. We spent a wonderful family time full of quality conversations and learning.

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